By Pip Hazelton / Latest News / 0 Comments

Letter to the Editor: Keep the bees buzzing

Dear Gazette
I attended a fascinating Zoom meeting organised by Canterbury City Council this week about their Pollinator Plan. Council officials, bee experts and others with considerable knowledge in the subject of bio-diversity, described the pressing need to create bee friendly corridors around Kent to help our many endangered pollinator species. Without these pollinators our crops and hedgerows, gardens and parks will struggle. I learnt that not all bees are the same and that different crops need different bees to make them grow.
 The Council has set up a working group to consult on and inform this plan and it was clear from the presentations that an existing Bee corridor that stretches along our North Kent coast, is vital for the survival of many species of bee. There also appeared to be widespread recognition of and support for the need to create a second corridor from Ashford, through Canterbury along the River Stour and on to the sea at Sandwich. If the habitat gets broken up, built on, sprayed with too much insecticide etc then the bees won’t be able to travel far enough afield to do their vital work. The council staff involved are knowledgable and seem committed to working with landowners, environmental experts and others to create their Pollinator Plan. Why then did the same City Council dig up flower beds in the Westgate Gardens intending to turf them over? Talk about the right hand not knowing what the left is doing! Apart from the environmental vandalism, what on earth were they thinking? – Surely they must know how attractive and welcoming those flower beds are are, close beside the river and the Westgate Tower. They must be among the most photographed spots of our beautiful city and apart from the pleasure they give, the sharing of those images is free publicity world wide for Canterbury as a holiday and visitor destination. 
To their credit, the council has realised their mistake and responded to the widespread outcry, by promising to restore the flowerbeds.  Well done to the community groups and individuals who have brought about this change of heart. 
Pip Hazelton
Labour and Co-operative Candidate Westgate